Macron's party secures majority in French parliament

Macron's party secures majority in French parliament

TRT World's Sarah Morice explains how Sunday's results give the president a strong mandate in parliament to pursue his pro-EU, business-friendly reform plans.

The traditional right and left parties that had dominated parliament and government for decades saw their presence in the assembly shrink significantly, confirming the redrawing of the French political landscape that began when the Socialists and the rightwing Republicans were knocked out in the first round of spring's presidential election.

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) poses with people on arriving to vote in the second round of the French legislative elections at the City Hall in Le Touquet, France, 18 June 2017.

The centre-right Les Republicains and allies have 130 seats, while the Socialist Party of Macron's predecessor, Francois Hollande, have plummeted to 45 including centre-left allies.

The party said its leader, Marine Le Pen, had won a seat in the northern, former coal-mining heartlands around Henin-Beaumont in the Pas-de-Calais.

Macron meanwhile reappointed rightwinger Edouard Philippe as prime minister, and asked him to unveil a new government lineup by 6:00 pm (1600 GMT) on Wednesday, sources in the president's office said.

"We expect the Macron reforms to transform France like the Thatcher reforms had cured the erstwhile sick man of Europe, the United Kingdom, some 35 years ago", said Berenberg European economist Holger Schmieding.

However, Macron's success was marked by record low turnout of just under 44 percent.

"He will also face an enormous amount of resistance on the ground from the vested interests of the trade unions which still wield an enormous amount of influence, and could make life very hard for the inexperienced new President and his party", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

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"For the first time under the (postwar) Fifth Republic, the National Assembly will be deeply renewed - more diverse, younger", the party's acting president, Catherine Barbaroux, said.

The conservative The Republicans are the second-biggest party in parliament, with 113 lawmakers.

Macron's party put up challengers for 526 of the 577 seats.

But while the French voters may have handed Macron the keys to the vehicle of state, there are far too many in the French establishment ready and willing to pour sugar in the petrol tank.

The former ruling Socialists fell down to an all-time low of 29 seats, losing 287 seats.

Investors welcomed Macron's win, with the gap between French and German bond yields holding near its tightest level in seven months.

Far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon's party won 17 seats, over the minimum of 15 needed to form a group, a tool that provides extra funds and speaking time.

Trade unions have said Macron must listen to their demands and not use his majority to bulldoze policy reforms through, or else face unrest.

According to the Guardian, Macron's new Centrist Party consists of half-unknown candidates.

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